On Sunday, November 11, at 7:29 p.m., the boy from my school that was on my swim team, died.
His name was Colin. Thought I'd let you know now.
I found out during first period, or speech class for me. The bell had already rung for class, but people were still laughing and settling down while the teacher was busy, and I was talking to my friend Ryan. (Damn, I know a lot of Ryans. Anyway.) I was telling him something about my weekend when Colin's death was announced over the PA system.
Right when the principal said, "I am so sorry to inform you that...." all I could say was "Shit." Ryan asked me what was wrong, then the principal said that a sophomore, Colin Giddings, had died on Sunday, and I just burst into tears. I had to go to the bathroom and wash my face, and right when I was kind of calming down, this beautiful girl with red hair and a sundress and combat boots came crashing in, her face red and eyes screwed up, and she was just wailing. Her friend came walking in after her, trying to comfort her, but the first girl had just lost it completely.
I don't know her. I didn't know her relationship to Colin. For all I know, she could have had a crush on him, or been friends with him, or been his girlfriend.
That kinda did it for me: I walked out of the bathroom and began crying in the hall. My speech teacher saw me and told me to go to the counselor's office- I had a presentation that I was supposed to do soon, but I went.
The receptionist, Mrs. Laitky, said that my counselor, Mrs. Flores, was busy, so she waited in the counselor's office with me and talked to me. She asked me about my Gerard Way shirt (it's black and has a white image of Gerard's face, cut into shards), because it reminded her of something that Colin would wear. He was really into rock and roll music, like Motorhead and Metallica, and he played guitar. I had no idea about this stuff.
She told me about how Colin and her son had swam for NTN together when they were little. But then her son joined marching band, and Colin made varsity swim team in high school, and they drifted apart a little bit.
I asked her if he had committed suicide, and she just shook her head sadly and said, "I really don't know."
Mrs. Flores came in, and then things just got kinda sad.
But she's good at helping with grief. What she told me has kinda helped me get over it.
This is really ridiculous, I didn't even know Colin. It's weird how this is affecting me so much. (I actually found out that I had seen him before. I have passed him in the halls, and seen him on the bus. He was the guy who always wore Doc Martens.)
I wasn't even this sad when one guy at my school, Drew, died of cancer, or when the Ledet brothers, their father, and uncle died in a plane crash.
I feel like everyone is dying this year.
So. After I left the counselor, I went back to speech, where we were all just watching a movie. (I had actually worked hard on my presentation- it was about RyRo!- but, yanno. Whatever.)
I went to second period, still feeling kinda shaky. When I sat down in my seat, I almost started crying again, but I just kinda breathed and calmed down.
Then this guy who sits a few seats in front of me, Marshall, asked someone, "Hey, what was the name of that guy who died, again?"
And I started bawling.
My friend Christie had been giving me this look like, aww, I'm so sorry, but when I started crying, she and my friend Emily came over and hugged me. It was nice.
After taking class notes, we all just sat around waiting to be called down for the Veteran's Day assembly. I went across the room to talk to Christie, and when I passed this girl who's on varsity, Jen, she asked me if I was okay.
Oh my god, I could tell she'd been crying. So I said yes, I'm better, and I gave her a hug.
We can all use a hug.
The day went pretty normally from there.
At swim practice, the coach told us that Colin had been battling a disease for over a year. I told my dad later, and he said he'd been talking to his colleague Saranya (she's the mom of another varsity swimmer, and her family was close to Colin's) and Saranya said that Colin had had bipolar disorder for about a year.
It all made sense.
So for anyone who commented on this earlier, thank you for your concern. I appreciate it.
Well, until we meet again, everyone.
Colin, wherever you are, I hope it's better there. I'm so sorry that I never met you, and now I never will have the chance to meet you, but I hope that now your soul can rest in peace.
So long, and goodnight.